Finger Lakes Grape Farm: Business Summary and Analysis: 31 Grape Farms 1971

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This is a summary and analysis of' the 1971 farm business records of 31 commercial grape farms in the Finger Lakes Area of New York State. The records were obtained on a survey form by Gilbert. C, Smith, Cooperative Extension Specialist, Grape Industry, Penn Yan, New York, and T. W. Markham, Cooperative Extension Agent, Steuben County, Bath, New York. The summarization was done by Edna Wheeler under the direction of C. D. Kearl. The 31 farms included in this report are among the largest and most highly specialized grape farms in the Finger Lakes Area. Only a few of them had farm enterprises other than grapes. The 31 farms produced and sold 10,260 tons of grapes in 1971. This is 17 percent of the total Finger Lakes Area, crop, produced by about 5 percent of the growers. Eleven of these 31 farms owned and operated grape harvesters in 1971 either alone or in partnership with other growers. Most of the others had at least a part of their 1971 crop harvested by machine. Custom rates for grape harvest ranged from $27.50 to $30 per ton, with $30 per ton the most common rate. Costs and returns on some of these farms are, therefore, influenced by their involvement in custom grape harvesting. Although this is not an average or typical group of growers, this report does provide a framework which any grape grower can use to summarize and analyze his own farm business. It also provides useful standards for comparison. The years 1969, 1970 and 1971 were relatively good for Finger Lakes Area grape growers. The weighted average price of grapes increased from $156 per ton in 1968 to more than $200 in 1969, 1970 and 1971. The total Finger Lakes Area grape crop delivered to processors was 41,011 tons in 1969 and 46,898 tons in 1970 and 60,400 tons in 1971. The total Finger Lakes Area crop delivered to processors during the 15 previous years (1954-1968) ranged from 14,314 tons in 1957 to 35,797 tons in 1967 and averaged 28,532 tons.
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
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